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Verdict: 
Near perfect autumn long finger gloves
Weight: 
50g
Contact: 
Rapha Pro Team Gloves
8 10

They're not cheap at £70, but these Rapha Pro Team Gloves are some of the nicest, most comfortable and hard-wearing long finger gloves you can buy. They are ideal for autumn and warmer winter rides providing good insulation with minimum bulk.

I actually tested these gloves extensively last winter and into the spring, put them away for summer (and forgot about them) and now the autumn chill has given us the first indication that winter is on its way I have dug them out for use again.

Through all that testing, they've become my go-to long sleeve gloves for mild to cool conditions. Why? Firstly there's the great fit. They slip over my fingers and hands like a second skin.

Buy Rapha Pro Team Gloves

Rapha has positioned the seams and added a mesh panel insert on the underside to reduce any restriction of movement, and it works well. The fabric is also very soft and, dare I say it, luxurious feeling next to the skin, and there are no irritation or pressure points.

Rapha Pro Team Gloves - palm.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Gloves - palm.jpg

There's also a generous length cuff providing overlap with a long sleeve jersey or jacket. The addition of a Microsuede fabric on the fingertips ramps up the grip on the brake levers, and they also work with a smartphone screen too.

They're made from Polartec fabric that is windproof and water resistant; the fabric is waterproof but the seams aren't sealed so the gloves can't be classified as waterproof. The fabric provides excellent warmth, making them an excellent choice on a chilly morning ride with adequate breathability to cope when the temperature rises.

If you need to take them off, they can be rolled up and pushed into a jersey pocket without taking up much space at all. They do cope with rising temperates well, and rides conducted at pace when you are likely to generate more heat finds the gloves coping with the increasing temperature well.

Rapha Pro Team Gloves - top.jpg

Rapha Pro Team Gloves - top.jpg

They certainly aren't the first choice when it's pouring with rain but for managing cloudbursts and the unpredictability of weather at this time of year, they are better than fine. You can ride a long way in the rain before you notice the rain making its presence felt. I used them for most of the Grinduro race in Scotland when it did nothing but rain constantly.

They're durable gloves. As I mentioned, I've used them for off-road rides with a bit more rough and tumble than road rides. Even through hundreds of miles of road cycling, the gloves are showing no sign of failing or letting go at the seams. They go through a regular wash just fine as well.

As autumn rears its ugly head once again, part of me is actually looking forward to the colder weather so I can press these gloves into action again. Yes they are very expensive and you can certainly pay a lot less, but the fit and fabric performance puts these well ahead of the competition. I do wish they were cheaper though so I could give them a few more stars.

Verdict

Near perfect autumn long finger gloves

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rapha Pro Team Gloves

Size tested: Med

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Rapha has updated all of its cycling gloves for 2017, with the Pro Team Gloves designed for riders and racers requiring a full-finger pair for mild and cold weather. Using an improved Polartec fabric - the same as in the Pro Team Race Cape - the gloves are windproof, water-resistant (the fabric is waterproof, but the seams are too close together to be fully taped), and yet breathable enough to stop you overheating during hard efforts. Another newly re-engineered improvement is the fit: a mesh panel inserted on the underside of the seams creates shape when your hands grip the bars but which doesn't restrict motion the rest of the time. The seams have also been repositioned to avoid any pressure points, easing the strain on your hands. Microsuede fabrics have been inserted into the first two fingers of each hand for grip when shifting and braking. The tips have also been treated with a conductive solution to allow use of your phone or GPS computer without taking your gloves off.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Updated palm layout delivers improved grip comfort

Same Polartec fabric as Pro Team Race Cape for improved weather proofing and breathability

Quick-drying and doesn't hold water

Microsuede inserts on gear shifting fingertips for grip

Touchscreen fingertips

Minimal seams,

High-dexterity fit

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Solidly built

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Excellent fit and great warmth in a range of conditions, and good rain resistance as well

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Extremely good in this respect

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

The fit really defines why I like these gloves so much, and when fit varies from bad to good in rival gloves, it's impressive that Rapha has got it so right

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

I found them perfect

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Supremely comfortable, freedom of movement is good and the fabric is lovely next to the skin

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

They're mightily expensive, but you are getting top notch Polartec fabric in the construction and that stuff doesn't come cheap. I haven't tested many cheaper gloves that come as close to perfection as this

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Very easy, they go through a regular wash

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Live up to expectations perfectly

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Everything

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A bit more reflectivity could be useful for winter rides

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

As you can probably tell, I rather like these gloves, I just wish they were cheaper so more people couldn't argue with the high price

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

22 comments

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [287 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes

that price is simply.. ridicolous.. 

Avatar
Grahamd [964 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes

The logo appears too subtle for a fool and his money...

Avatar
sooshee [5 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Design looks inspired by B'Twin.

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drosco [428 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

I do enough bad weather miles to say with authority that nobody needs to spend £70 on gloves. In this era of Sky's 'marginal gains', or perhaps 'cycling is the new golf', there's clearly no limit to what people will pay. The reality is you can get pretty much everything you need from cycling for a relatively meage budget. Assuming you're just worried about the riding, not your image that is.

Avatar
Johnnystorm [111 posts] 11 months ago
6 likes

I've not tried these so I can't comment either way but there are a lot of mediocre gloves out there that are generally too warm/sweaty/bulky or at the other end of the scale. Looking at how many pairs I've bought and found to be unsatisfactory spending 70 quid on the right pair might not be such a bad thing.

Avatar
Chris Hayes [266 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes

I'll stick my neck out and say that I have a couple of pairs of Rapha gloves (bought on sale) and they are excellent.  My mid-winter gloves are 4 years old now and apart from a bit of wear to the palm look like new.  This time of year I'm wearing their Merino long-fingered gloves - again 4-5 years old and still fine.  

Over the years I've tried other gloves: Castelli, Assos, Pearl Izumi, Gore.... and they're just not the same quality.  That said, I wouldn't buy the Deep Winter gloves as you can get a cheap pair of ski gloves that work just as well....

Avatar
StoopidUserName [464 posts] 11 months ago
1 like
drosco wrote:

I do enough bad weather miles to say with authority that nobody needs to spend £70 on gloves. In this era of Sky's 'marginal gains', or perhaps 'cycling is the new golf', there's clearly no limit to what people will pay. The reality is you can get pretty much everything you need from cycling for a relatively meage budget. Assuming you're just worried about the riding, not your image that is.

 

Get 'em in the sale like most people and you'll pay a lot less.

 

I go for the cheap gloves for the most part (btwin), at least for the commute and while they are fine up to a point, they do fall apart after a season, are bulky and sweaty/smelly.

 

The best pair I own are some Gore gloves I bought in the sale for around £40. Sometimes you can pay extra and get something better.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [861 posts] 11 months ago
5 likes

Might give these a go.  I have some similar Castelli ones where the fingertips, of all places, wear out quite rapidly!  Second pair in 3 years are coming to the end of their life sadly.

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes

I've no idea what 'windtex' is, but my favoured gloves are these. They can be picked up cheaply and are really comfortable down to about 5 degrees. Light, with very little bulk. Only downside is they tend to wear on the thumbs and palms relatively quickly, but I do a lot of miles. 

Avatar
Stueys [25 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

I've a pair of these and they are excellent.  Very comfortable and work well between 4 degrees and 12, though I get cold hands.  Really a quality product, I struggle with gloves and tried various makes until I hit on these. 

I also run the deep winter gloves in cold weather.  Equally great.

Generally can we quit with the tired, predictable comments on pricing and image whenever Rapha products are reviewed.   A 9k bike or Assos gear doesn't attract the same response so why the anti-Rapha movement?

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes
Stueys wrote:

I've a pair of these and they are excellent.  Very comfortable and work well between 4 degrees and 12, though I get cold hands.  Really a quality product, I struggle with gloves and tried various makes until I hit on these. 

I also run the deep winter gloves in cold weather.  Equally great.

Generally can we quit with the tired, predictable comments on pricing and image whenever Rapha products are reviewed.   A 9k bike or Assos gear doesn't attract the same response so why the anti-Rapha movement?

Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.

Avatar
srchar [932 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes
drosco wrote:

I've no idea what 'windtex' is, but my favoured gloves are these. Only downside is they tend to wear on the thumbs and palms relatively quickly.

Could I interest you in a pair of Rapha gloves that will last for years and which the company will replace or repair if they suffer a crash or palm wear?

drosco wrote:

Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.

Whereas not even you know what "windtex" is, nevermind anyone else. Can't think why it wouldn't be as ubiquitous as Rapha, given the upsides you've mentioned.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [861 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes
Stueys wrote:

Generally can we quit with the tired, predictable comments on pricing and image whenever Rapha products are reviewed.   A 9k bike or Assos gear doesn't attract the same response so why the anti-Rapha movement?

 

You can tell that you havn't been here for long.

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:
drosco wrote:

I've no idea what 'windtex' is, but my favoured gloves are these. Only downside is they tend to wear on the thumbs and palms relatively quickly.

Could I interest you in a pair of Rapha gloves that will last for years and which the company will replace or repair if they suffer a crash or palm wear?

drosco wrote:

Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.

Whereas not even you know what "windtex" is, nevermind anyone else. Can't think why it wouldn't be as ubiquitous as Rapha, given the upsides you've mentioned.

http://road.cc/content/review/78205-phew-early-winter-windster-cycling-g...

Here are some. Perhaps you should try them.

Avatar
davel [2407 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes
drosco wrote:
Stueys wrote:

I've a pair of these and they are excellent.  Very comfortable and work well between 4 degrees and 12, though I get cold hands.  Really a quality product, I struggle with gloves and tried various makes until I hit on these. 

I also run the deep winter gloves in cold weather.  Equally great.

Generally can we quit with the tired, predictable comments on pricing and image whenever Rapha products are reviewed.   A 9k bike or Assos gear doesn't attract the same response so why the anti-Rapha movement?

Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.

I'm curious as to how it manages to be elitist and ubiquitous.

Pretentious and elitist - count me in: I've got to find something to spend my lapsed golf membership money on.

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 11 months ago
1 like
davel wrote:

 ...I'm curious as to how it manages to be elitist and ubiquitous.

damn, you've invoked the cyclist's paradox!

Avatar
Chris Hayes [266 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

 

[/quote] Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.[/quote]

...both elitist and everywhere?  I can't resist pointing out that contradiction - no doubt borne of a clever marketing strategy: make top quality stuff that lasts ages and those who do wear it swear by; offer to replace it without question if it breaks; offer a crash repair services AND give you half your money back if you drop a size within a year... (oh and comparably high re-sale values on eBay if you want to sell)....

I cycle between 15-20,000 km a year, regardless of weather.  I don't want soggy, ill-fitting, non-breathable kit with seams that disintegrate when damp - along with the interest of the manufacturer once they've got your money.   Whilst not cheap, my worn daily Rapha gloves were a bargain mate. 

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes
Chris Hayes wrote:

 

Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.[/quote]

...both elitist and everywhere?  I can't resist pointing out that contradiction - no doubt borne of a clever marketing strategy: make top quality stuff that lasts ages and those who do wear it swear by; offer to replace it without question if it breaks; offer a crash repair services AND give you half your money back if you drop a size within a year... (oh and comparably high re-sale values on eBay if you want to sell)....

I cycle between 15-20,000 km a year, regardless of weather.  I don't want soggy, ill-fitting, non-breathable kit with seams that disintegrate when damp - along with the interest of the manufacturer once they've got your money.   Whilst not cheap, my worn daily Rapha gloves were a bargain mate. 

[/quote]

 

I'm not doubting they're good gloves, I don't think Rapha are unique in providing clothing that fits well and is functional however. If they're good for you, then great though. I agree that life's too short to wear rubbish kit.

 

Regarding why people don't like Rapha, someone asked the question so I answered. For me it's to cycling what craft lager is to drinking. Take something simple, sociable and 'relatively' affordable, add some marketing about breadiness and citrus notes, package nicely, double the price and voila, a whole new thing to be snobbish about. Beer isn't to be enjoyed, it's to be appreciated. Riding isn't about fun, it's about 'Glory through suffering'. Honestly, for someone who got his first road bike 30 years ago and has been enjoying riding them ever since, I find Raphas carefully crafted image absolutely cringe inducing and it's no suprise it's polarising. 

 

If people like it and don't mind paying for it, fine and it is easy to criticise, apologies. It's just not for me.   

Avatar
Vili Er [287 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes
drosco wrote:
Chris Hayes wrote:

 

Because as a brand it's pretentious, elitist and ubiquitous.

...both elitist and everywhere?  I can't resist pointing out that contradiction - no doubt borne of a clever marketing strategy: make top quality stuff that lasts ages and those who do wear it swear by; offer to replace it without question if it breaks; offer a crash repair services AND give you half your money back if you drop a size within a year... (oh and comparably high re-sale values on eBay if you want to sell)....

I cycle between 15-20,000 km a year, regardless of weather.  I don't want soggy, ill-fitting, non-breathable kit with seams that disintegrate when damp - along with the interest of the manufacturer once they've got your money.   Whilst not cheap, my worn daily Rapha gloves were a bargain mate. 

[/quote]

 

I'm not doubting they're good gloves, I don't think Rapha are unique in providing clothing that fits well and is functional however. If they're good for you, then great though. I agree that life's too short to wear rubbish kit.

 

Regarding why people don't like Rapha, someone asked the question so I answered. For me it's to cycling what craft lager is to drinking. Take something simple, sociable and 'relatively' affordable, add some marketing about breadiness and citrus notes, package nicely, double the price and voila, a whole new thing to be snobbish about. Beer isn't to be enjoyed, it's to be appreciated. Riding isn't about fun, it's about 'Glory through suffering'. Honestly, for someone who got his first road bike 30 years ago and has been enjoying riding them ever since, I find Raphas carefully crafted image absolutely cringe inducing and it's no suprise it's polarising. 

 

If people like it and don't mind paying for it, fine and it is easy to criticise, apologies. It's just not for me.   

[/quote]

 

Then do us all a favour and stop commenting with your cut and paste replies every time this website posts something about Rapha.

Avatar
drosco [428 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

The forum police have spoken.

Avatar
CasperCCC [61 posts] 11 months ago
8 likes
drosco wrote:

Regarding why people don't like Rapha, someone asked the question so I answered. For me it's to cycling what craft lager is to drinking.

Heh.

I tick all the boxes, then. Bought a pair of these gloves when they were on sale. And I bloody love the rise of craft beer. It's not that long ago that when you went to the pub, you had a choice between generic 4% session lager, generic 5% wife-beater, and a muddy pint of traditional bitter.
I love the fact that you've now got the option of drinking something that's just way, way more interesting. While still getting you just as drunk as Stella does. 

I also love the fact that it's also making mainstream pubs and brewers lift their game. 
I'll still drink Stella if I have to, and I'll still have fun getting drunk. I'm not a beer snob. But I'd much rather get drunk on something that's way more interesting.

I reckon you've hit on a pretty good analogy for the way that brands like Rapha have affected cycling. I'm just coming at it from a different direction to you. 

You can still buy a pair of cheap bibshorts if you want, just like you can still drink Stella if you want. And they'll still do a job, just like Stella will still get you pissed. You can still have all the fun of heading out on a bike ride if you're wearing cheap shorts, just like you can still have all the fun of heading out to the pub if you're drinking Stella. 

And even if you never buy a pair of Rapha shorts or a pint of craft beer, you'll probably still get the benefit of the way that high end brands have driven up standards across the board, just like craft beer has forced a lot of lazy pubs and brewers to up their game.

So it's win/win. You still get what you want to do. Other people get to do what they want to do. True, your eyes might be offended by a few arty, pretentious craft beer ads. And a few arty, pretentious Rapha ads. But most ads have always been shit. They're just shit in different ways. 

And you might be bored witless by a few dull conversations about craft beer, and a few dull conversations about "suffering". But pub bores have always been pub bores. And cycling bores have always been cycling bores. They're now just boring on different subjects.  

TL:DR : It's all good. I've got some nice gloves and some nice beer, and you didn't have to pay for any of it...
 

Avatar
sir_velo [20 posts] 11 months ago
3 likes
CasperCCC wrote:
drosco wrote:

Regarding why people don't like Rapha, someone asked the question so I answered. For me it's to cycling what craft lager is to drinking.

Heh.

I tick all the boxes, then. Bought a pair of these gloves when they were on sale. And I bloody love the rise of craft beer. It's not that long ago that when you went to the pub, you had a choice between generic 4% session lager, generic 5% wife-beater, and a muddy pint of traditional bitter.
I love the fact that you've now got the option of drinking something that's just way, way more interesting. While still getting you just as drunk as Stella does. 

I also love the fact that it's also making mainstream pubs and brewers lift their game. 
I'll still drink Stella if I have to, and I'll still have fun getting drunk. I'm not a beer snob. But I'd much rather get drunk on something that's way more interesting.

I reckon you've hit on a pretty good analogy for the way that brands like Rapha have affected cycling. I'm just coming at it from a different direction to you. 

You can still buy a pair of cheap bibshorts if you want, just like you can still drink Stella if you want. And they'll still do a job, just like Stella will still get you pissed. You can still have all the fun of heading out on a bike ride if you're wearing cheap shorts, just like you can still have all the fun of heading out to the pub if you're drinking Stella. 

And even if you never buy a pair of Rapha shorts or a pint of craft beer, you'll probably still get the benefit of the way that high end brands have driven up standards across the board, just like craft beer has forced a lot of lazy pubs and brewers to up their game.

So it's win/win. You still get what you want to do. Other people get to do what they want to do. True, your eyes might be offended by a few arty, pretentious craft beer ads. And a few arty, pretentious Rapha ads. But most ads have always been shit. They're just shit in different ways. 

And you might be bored witless by a few dull conversations about craft beer, and a few dull conversations about "suffering". But pub bores have always been pub bores. And cycling bores have always been cycling bores. They're now just boring on different subjects.  

TL:DR : It's all good. I've got some nice gloves and some nice beer, and you didn't have to pay for any of it...
 

 

Possibly the most sensible comment I've read on the subject. It will never catch on...